Bumbling cricketers blow wicket chanceBumbling cricketers blow wicket chance Keeper pulls off amazing double saveKeeper pulls off amazing double save UAE stumped by luck of the IrishUAE stumped by luck of the Irish
Most popular articles
$10,000 up for grabsSign-up for NRL, AFL
and Rugby tipping
51 year old Shamrock books clash with YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice. No, seriously..51 year old Shamrock books clash with YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice. No, seriously..In his first official statement since testing positive to steroids yesterday, UFC superstar Anderson Silva plans to fight the 'allegations' against him. UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano - preview and staff predictionsUFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano - preview and staff predictionsWhen former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva tested positive for anabolic steroids today, his entire legacy as a prize fighter was called into question. Aussie Richy Walsh intent on 'damaging' former male-model Jouban at UFC 184 Aussie Richy Walsh intent on 'damaging' former male-model Jouban at UFC 184 Anderson Silva's doctor has said that the former UFC champion denies taking performance enhancing drugs, and wants to be tested again. Is UFC champion Ronda Rousey MMA's Mike Tyson? Is UFC champion Ronda Rousey MMA's Mike Tyson? Busted for PEDS today, you won't believe what former UFC champ Anderson Silva told Jon Jones (who recently tested positive to cocaine) at UFC 183. Watch: UFC 184 embedded series and extended previewWatch: UFC 184 embedded series and extended previewThe MMA world is in shock after UFC 183 headliners Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz both tested positive to banned substances. Fighter reactions here. Ronda Rousey sizzles as MMA's first SI swimsuit modelRonda Rousey sizzles as MMA's first SI swimsuit modelBoth Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz have failed drug tests following UFC 184. Silva tested positive for an anabolic steroid, while Diaz tested for marijuana.
Wide World of Sports TV partners
Wide World of SportsCatch up with Ken Sutcliffe and the team on Wide World of Sports.AFL Footy ShowAustralia's favourite team takes you through the week in AFL.NRL Footy ShowFatty and the gang bring you an entertaining look at rugby league.Footy ClassifiedOur award winning panel tell it how it really is in the AFL world.
Opals count down to Olympics
Laine Clark
17:23 AEST Sat Jul 23 2011
Australia's women's basketball team, The Opals during a game.
The Opals will begin their countdown to the London Olympics with a three-game series against China.

Star power may be low but expectations are high for the Opals in their three-match women's basketball series against China in Queensland starting on Sunday.

WNBA superstars Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor are not available but Opals coach Carrie Graf is still predicting big things from her understrength squad in the crucial series, which tips off in Logan, south of Brisbane.

The showdown with the Asian powerhouse officially begins the Opals' London Olympics countdown.

It is a warm-up for September's Oceania series against New Zealand - the winner gains direct entry into the 2012 Games.

Her big names may be missing but Graf hoped to unearth some stars of the future against China, Beijing Olympic semi-finalists.

"Every time we are in a training camp or in a series it is a selection opportunity for players no matter where they are sitting on the pecking order," Graf said of her young squad.

Apart from Jackson and Taylor, the Opals will also be without young gun Liz Cambage - featuring in this weekend's WNBA All Star game - and fellow WNBA rising star Jenna O'Hea.

Others set to return to the team for the Oceania series are injured duo Kristi Harrower and Samantha Richards.

World No.3 Australia will be desperate to finally strike Olympic gold in London - something the US have denied them at the last three Games in epic finals.

The Opals will also be desperate to atone for finishing fifth at the 2010 world championships - their worst performance at a major tournament in nearly 20 years.

But Graf said her sole focus was qualifying for London.

"That is the main thing and this series (against China) is preparation for the qualifiers," she said.

Dual Olympic silver-medallist Suzy Batkovic returns to the Australian side for the first time since the Beijing Games to bolster the depleted Opals against China.

She adds much needed experience along with veteran guard Kristen Veal and 2010 world championship team members Abby Bishop and Marianna Tolo.

They line up against a Chinese outfit boasting WNBA star Miao Lijie and former WNBA centre Chen Nan, as well as 207cm giant Wei Wei.

"China are a world class basketball outfit - it's going to be a great challenge," Graf said.

Australia will also take on China on July 28 in Townsville and in Cairns on July 30.